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We just wrapped up the Team Frog Whirlwind Stateside Road Trip, which was a quicker-than-usual drive through the usual stops (Chicago! Carbondale! Paducah! Nashville! Maryville-Alcoa! Knoxville! Erlanger, Kentucky!) due to some tighter than usual work schedules at home. Random thoughts follow:

1. Be in my welcome video

I flew to Honolulu last January, about ten days before the inauguration, so Obama was still POTUS at the time. While I was standing in the passport control line, I noticed the TV monitors playing a welcome announcement from Presidente Obama welcoming visitors to the US. As I watched, I thought: “I wonder what the new video will be like?”

So I kept an eye out for it this time when I arrived at passport control in Chicago.

There was no welcome video.

Which speaks volumes, perhaps. Granted, D. Trump has been busy his first 13 weeks, what with making America great again and his busy golf schedule, so maybe he hasn’t had to film one. Still.

2. Signs O’ The Times, Side 1

I saw an awful lot of “now hiring” signs this trip. Seems just about every restaurant, café, retail store or any other place of business I entered was looking to hire more help. Which is surprising, considering what terrible shape America’s economy is supposed to be in, according to D. Trump. Guess he fixed it?

3. There’s only one thing worse than being talked about …

Naturally, it was tough to have a conversation without D. Trump coming up. I’ll qualify that by adding that (1) almost every state I drove through was a state he won (the exception being Illinois), and (2) I did not meet a single person who voted for him or even liked him – and I’m including Republicans. Even my mom – who adored Reagan and Thatcher in the 80s – literally couldn’t bring herself to address him as President Trump, saying (and I quote): “He doesn’t even deserve the mentioning of that title.”

Anyway, while the topic of Trump was inevitable, it was interesting that I didn’t hear a lot of extended rants about him. Most people agreed that the country was still in a state of shell-shock – the reality hasn’t quite settled in that this guy is actually in charge of the country and is making bad decisions about important things almost daily. It’s almost like everyone’s waiting for the episode where he finally gets voted off the island or something.

4. Signs O’ The Times, Side 2

Apart from the “Now Hiring” signs, once I got down to the Kentucky/Tennessee areas I also saw a lot of signs that were pointedly in support of the police. Sample billboard: “Welcome to [town name], where we fully support our police”. Which I guess is the 21st Century equivalent of “N*****, don’t let the sun set on you here.”

Okay, that’s unfair. But it’s pretty obvious that it’s intended as a statement against #BLM and a veiled warning for anyone who supports that movement, based on the false assumption that to support #BLM is to NOT support the police, because as we all know, Law And Order depends on supporting law enforcement 100% at all times no matter how many unarmed black guys they kill. Anyway, I didn’t see any signs like that when I drove through the same places in October 2015, and Trump happened between then and now, so it’s clear some of them felt the need to make that statement to the point of paying for billboard space (and that’s assuming the billboard owner didn’t waive the fee).

5. With the radio on

Our rental car was blessed with a free satnav this time around, but not free satellite radio. Which meant station-hopping from city to city again, and it seems the state of commercial radio programming hasn't improved in the last year and a half – at least not on our route. Granted, neither has the state of commercial music. So, as college radio is also dying, we kept it either on NPR or classic rock stations.

One thing I can confirm: Boston is still terrifically popular in the heartland.

6. Come McKay with me, punker

As usual, I stocked up on books, although not as many as I might have, since we skipped Books-a-Million this year (membership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be), and a couple of other places we usually hit have closed.

Still, there is always McKay’s, and we hit the ones in Nashville and Chattanooga. Here’s my haul from both.







Nice, eh?

Okay, that’s all I have.

There and back again,

This is dF
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THE JOURNALISMS.



Back soon,

This is dF
defrog: (Default)
I have returned from the US, and I’ve more or less recovered from the jet lag and the 15-hour flight.

It was mostly the same deal as last year: a road trip from Chicago to Maryville-Alcoa and back, by way of Carbondale, Nashville and Cincinnati (rather than Indianapolis). Overall it went smoothly, apart from the occasional debilitating illness. Also, this time out we were unable to meet a few people we wanted to meet due to schedule conflicts and lost wallets. Anyone we were unable to meet, sorry about that, we'll make it up to you next time. 

Other than that, it was a pretty fun time. Here are the highlights:

1. Cheap books

We joined Books A Million and scoured McKay’s (both the Nashville and Knoxville locations), as well as Hastings and a couple other places. Here’s my take:



Note that I’ve read The Sirens Of Titan before, but for $5.97, I’m keen to re-read it.

Also, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and try some of the Star Wars expanded universe books. I’ve avoided them in the past mainly because I thought it was just too much to keep up with. I was also worried about the quality of the writing. But with all the excitement about the new movie and all, I just felt inspired to try a couple, though I’m sticking to Original Trilogy period for now. We’ll see how these two go and take it from there.

2. Conservative books for conservatives who read

In Maryville-Alcoa, I also visited a place called Ollie’s, which is sort of like Big Lots. It has a book section. It looks like this.



So I didn’t find much there. But I did notice a pattern in Tennessee bookstores, where (1) you see a lot of books on prominent display from authors like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Brian Kilmeade and various GOP candidates – particularly Donald Trump and Ben Carson. As opposed to, say, books by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Just saying.

I also noticed that a lot of these authors take up prominent space in the American History section. You kind of expect that with Bill O’Reilly, who seems to have a second career writing books about famous political assassinations of famous Americans (Lincoln, Kennedy, Patton, Jesus, etc). Glenn Beck and Brian Kilmeade, not so much.

Res ipsa loqitur.

3. Touch me I’m sick

I came down with stomach flu in Maryville-Alcoa. Laid me out for two straight days. Then my mom got strep throat. Then KT got both. Then the cat started vomiting. It was kind of funny after awhile. Anyway, everyone recovered fairly quickly, so our travel plans didn’t get seriously disrupted as a result. I did end up sleeping through Halloween, though.

I just hope my travel insurance will cover my doctor’s visit. I don’t have a lot of experience with American HMOs, except that even something relatively simple can cost you a fortune in consultation fees. The actual medicine was only $20.00.

4. Burger time

We ate a lot of burgers. This is probably unavoidable, though we did try to avoid the obvious stuff on the road.

The highlight: Five Guys, which is still our Gold Standard for fast food burgers.

The lowlight: Steak’n’Shake, which used to be the Gold Standard back in college, but these days seems to go down in quality every time we visit. The shakes are still good, and the food isn’t terrible, but it’s not something to look forward to anymore.

Best décor: S&B Burger Joint, which has a serious rock theme going on. It’s also the only burger place I’ve been to that requires an orientation session from the server. Good food though. Try the deep fried pickles.





5. Toll roads

Chicago is bristling with them. I discovered this last year, but this year we got caught up a little more than usual in the system, thanks to a few toll plazas where either cash isn’t an option, or we ended up in a situation where it was an unmanned toll booth and we had no change. You do have the option to pay online and you have seven days to do so (though you have to remember which toll booth it was, and what time you went through it). The fine for not paying is substantial, but I do find myself wondering how many people actually bother, or how rigorously it’s enforced.

6. There ain't much to country living

We stopped in Paducah, KY for coffee and gas. Inside was two guys in overalls buying wintergreen chewing tobacco. Outside was a pick-up truck with some bullet holes in the side. Meanwhile, in a rest area by the state line, I got into a conversation with the tour booth woman who told me about her 120-pound mini-pig.

Later, in TN, I found myself behind a pick-up truck with a bumper sticker that said: “Uncle Sam wants you to speak English.”

7. I’m bored of American radio

This year’s rental car didn’t come with a Sirius XM subscription, so I had to make do with standard radio, which is hard to do on a road trip where you can only stick with a station for so long until you drive out of range.

Making matters worse is that American radio is just terrible – it seems to get worse every year I come over. It says a lot when you find yrself settling for whatever classic rock station you can find, knowing that’s probably as good as it gets for decent music.

I did notice one trend I hadn’t picked up on before: talk radio on the FM dial. This may be old news to you, but I wasn’t aware that talk radio was in so much demand that the AM dial no longer had sufficient room for it. Unfortunately, this meant that in Tennessee, around 75% of my programming choices on FM were limited to news/talk, sports/talk and country music. The rest was either Top 40 or a classic rock station that was always just five miles away from bad reception.

8. Cheap gas

I paid $1.77/gal for gas in Maryville.

Thanks, Obama.

Well, that’s enough, isn’t it?

Back to the grind,

This is dF

ROAD TRIP!

Oct. 23rd, 2015 07:54 pm
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I’ll be in the US driving from Chicago to Knoxville and back for the next two weeks if anyone needs me.

Robert Doisneau: The dogs of the Marquis de Cuevas, Bois de Boulogne, 1953

[Via Yesterday’s Print]

Just can’t wait to get on the road again,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)

I was in Shanghai last week. I hadn’t been there since 2006, and I hadn’t been to mainland China at all since 2010, so it took some readjustment on my part.

I didn’t see much of Shanghai this time, though I did have a decent view of Century Park.



Otherwise, most of my time was spent either in the hotel, the convention center or the metro between the two of them. But I do have some bullet points to pass along:

1. None of my flights were on time. This is normal for Shanghai and not unexpected.

2. The Shanghai taxi I took to my hotel had no A/C so we drove on the expressway with all the windows down. Which was invigorating.

3. I got mild food poisoning from room service beef.

4. I bought a prepaid SIM card with a 1GB data plan – which was about 980MB more than I needed since most of the apps I use (Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and Flipboard) are illegal in China. I can verify that WhatsApp, Google Maps, and Yahoo Mail work fine.

5. Century Park is pretty festive at night, judging from the traditional Chinese music blaring from the pavilion across the street from my hotel. Luckily, they shut it down by 9pm.

6. The Shanghai Metro didn’t exist last time I was in town. It’s actually pretty good once you figure out the ticketing machine, and as long as you do a little prelim research on which lines you’ll need and which stops you plan to use.

7. I got unsuccessfully hustled twice – once from a guy pretending to have lost his money under complicated circumstances, and once from another guy who wanted to sell me his iPhone.

8. When I went back to the airport, the road leading to the departure hall in Terminal 2 was blocked off for no apparent reason. So the taxi driver dropped me off in the short-term parking area.

9. I saw my first 3D food printer.





I didn’t try one, no.

10. This song was running through my head for most of the trip.



11. Thanks to this trip, I now have a ten-year visa for China. That’s because US passport holders can now only apply for ten-year visas (as opposed to single entry, double entry, multiple entry for six months, one year, etc). No idea why.

Anyway, you may be seeing future posts about me being in China, is what I’m saying.

Over the borderline,

This is dF


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re: our US tour in October (which I was supposed to be doing a series about, but was too busy with other things to get around to until now):

The visit to the Colonel Sanders Museum in Corbin, KY was unplanned.

Our subsequent visit to the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis was not.

I should qualify that. We had already planned to return to Chicago via Indianapolis because it’s a relatively shorter drive from East Tennessee than the way we came (via Carbondale, IL and Nashville). But it’s still a nine-hour drive, so we planned to stay one night in Indianapolis so we could split up the drive time and be leisurely about it.

Having never been to Indianapolis before, and not knowing anyone there, I had no idea what we might do besides eat and sleep. The only attraction I knew anything about was the speedway, which wasn’t of much interest to us.

It was when we were in Chicago that my friend Lori said, “You could always go to the Kurt Vonnegut museum.”

To which I replied: “What Kurt Vonnegut museum?”

Turns out there is one. It looks like this.

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library 01 photo 2014-10-21112022_zps084c7c83.jpg

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library 15 photo 2014-10-21113422_zps59e91813.jpg

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library 30 photo 2014-10-21115409_zps5a154e04.jpg

 photo 2014-10-21113513_zps60d4033a.jpg

They call it a Memorial Library, not a museum, but it does kind of serve that purpose – it has lots of Vonnegut’s personal memorabilia and artwork, as well as a recreation of the study in which he usually wrote in the 1970s.

Like this:

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library 12 photo 2014-10-21113329_zpsaf51573a.jpg

The study includes a working electric typewriter on which you can type whatever you want, albeit with the understanding that it will be tweeted via Kurt’s Typewriter.

(FWIW, here’s what I typed.)

There’s also an interactive video screen with video interviews of Vonnegut associates, including Morley Safer.

And of course you can buy pretty much all of his books there, as well as souvenirs.

More pictures here.

We spent about an hour there, and it was well worth the visit – provided yr a Vonnegut fan, of course, which I am.

So it goes,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
One interesting thing about this trip is that we had a pretty god idea of what to do and who to meet on the way to Maryville-Alcoa, but no idea what to do on the way back to Chicago.

We didn't follow the same path back – we opted to go north and stop at Indianapolis for a night. And since we didn't know anyone along that route, we had no real plans.

And that's more or less how we ended up at the Colonel Sanders Museum in Corbin, KY.

Actually we were looking for someplace to stop for lunch, and we saw signs for it as we came closer to Corbin, so we figured what the hell. As it turns out, the museum is located across the street from the location of the original KFC, and is a sort of replica of a motor lodge that Sanders opened at that very spot.

It looked like this.

COL SANDERS MUSUEM 01 photo 2014-10-20134001_zps0cc0ad21.jpg

 photo 2014-10-20134134_zps44b3d0b5.jpg COL SANDERS MUSUEM 29 photo 2014-10-20143754_zpsb7be9606.jpg

 photo 2014-10-20134241_zpsec15c124.jpg

COL SANDERS MUSUEM 14 photo 2014-10-20143255_zps7dc8dffc.jpg  COL SANDERS MUSUEM 30 photo 2014-10-20143805_zps40c15b44.jpg

You can see all kinds of other pics here.

Also, as you might imagine, there’s a functioning KFC in it. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown used to the HK interpretation of KFC – which isn’t that great – or because of my own childhood nostalgia (we used to take KFC to the park on Sundays when I was a kid, so I practically grew up on it), but I have to say it was the best KFC food I’ve had in a long time.

Chicken done right,

This is dF


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re: our US tour in October (which I was supposed to be doing a series about, but was too busy with other things to get around to until now):

Our ultimate destination – by way of Chicago, Carbondale, IL and Nashville – was Maryville-Alcoa, Tennessee to visit my family for a week.

As you might imagine, there’s not a lot to do in Maryville-Alcoa and the surrounding area unless you enjoy college football, hayrides, Dolly Parton and mountain tourist traps.

Which is probably how my sister talked us into driving 100 miles to score some t-shirts from the Piggly Wiggly in Spring City, TN.





It’s a kind of family in-joke, albeit one I wasn’t really aware of until this trip.

As you may or may not know, Piggly Wiggly is a grocery store chain that everyone who isn't from the South or Midwest thinks is fictional because it was mentioned in Driving Miss Daisy. People laugh at the name, but it actually has an interesting history. The first one opened in 1916 in Memphis, and it single-handedly invented the self-service supermarket concept at a time when most towns had general stores. Checkout lanes? Shopping carts? Price tags on every item for sale? Piggly Wiggly basically invented that.

Anyway, we ended up making the drive twice – once at night, which ended up with us failing to find the store due to bad directions from Mapquest, and once the following day.

Did I mention there’s not a lot to do in Maryville-Alcoa?

Anyway, here’s what we drove an aggregate 400 miles for.

  

The things I do to entertain you people.

Some pig,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
re: our US tour in October (which I was supposed to be doing a series about, but was too busy with other things to get around to until now):

The tour began in Chicago, which was notable for a few things:

1. Devil Dawgs, which is perfect when yr jetlagged and in need of hot dogs at 1am.



2. The White Palace Grill, which made for a nice brunch thanks to Mr John Meadows.

3. The David Bowie Is exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which we saw with Mr Rich MF Hall.





It was pretty cool – it’s only part of the full exhibit, but it does a good job of showing how Bowie’s various influences ended up shaping his shift from David Jones to Ziggy Stardust and beyond.

So you get lots of costumes and handwritten lyrics and interactive exhibits playing videos of performances and interviews as you walk up to them and so on. There’s also a section for his film activities, which includes his Goblin King scepter from Labyrinth and a letter from Jim Henson, etc. I confess I was expecting more guitars. But that's a mjnor quibble.

All up, it was well worth the price of admission and the exorbitant parking fees.

Sound + vision,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
As mentioned in the last post, I didn’t watch very much TV while I was in the states. But when I did, I got an earful about politics. It being an election year and all.

Naturally that includes political ads, of which I saw quite a few. Some of them involve Congressional races, and I found it interesting that most of the Republican ads seemed to talk a lot about Obama. As in, “A vote for Gordon Ball is a vote for Obama and the Obama Agenda.”

There were a bunch of ads like that. I guess the GOP’s main message this year is “If you elect a Democrat, yr really electing Obama – in fact it might as well be Obama’s name on the ballot, because the Democrats are actually one big Obama hive mind controlled by Obama.”

So basically every GOP candidate for any given office is really running against Obama, see?

Or something.

The other big political ads in TN centered around two proposed amendments to the state constitution and a referendum about wine sales. It took me awhile to figure out the details, because the ads certainly don’t tell you anything. But here’s the gist:

Amendment 1 aims to give the TN govt the legal power to regulate abortion (a power it purportedly lost in a state court case 14 years ago).

Amendment 2 has to do with the method by which state judges are appointed.

The wine referendum (on the ballot in 80 counties and cities) proposes to make it legal for grocery stores to sell wine.

I don't have any strong opinion on the latter two. The wine referendum is more of a business issue (i.e. liquor stores don’t want the competition), and I don’t drink wine anyway. I also think judge selection in TN will be politicized no matter how they’re selected.

As for Amendment 1, I should explain that it’s meant to “fix” a state supreme court decision 14 years ago that struck down several abortion laws as too restrictive under the state constitution. Republicans essentially want to amend the constitution accordingly to make it easier to bring those restrictions back.

The debate is pretty predictable. If you’ve chosen a side in the abortion debate, you already know which way you’re going to vote.

Looking at the actual proposal, it looks like a weak argument to me. I understand the desire to change the constitution to make yr unconstitutional ideas constitutional, but when yr proposing changes just so that laws that only yr party supports stand a better chance of surviving a court challenge, it sounds to me less like “giving the people more power to decide what abortion legislation they should have” and more like a way to get around the checks and balances the judicial branch is there to provide.

Also, I’m not a big fan of constitutional amendments inspired by current hot-button wedge issues.

Granted, I’m pro-choice, so I would say that, wouldn’t I?

Still, it’s a pretty crappy amendment that pretends that the TN legislature has no ability to regulate abortion. They do – they just can’t make the laws as restrictive as they want. I take the point that pro-life legislators still wouldn’t be able to pass anything that contravenes Roe v. Wade if the amendment passes. But it's pretty clear from the wording that the pro-life camp wants it spelled out in the state constitution that no one has the right to abortion, and it’s reasonable to assume they’ll make maximum use of that wording.

So no, Amendment 1 doesn’t strike me as a good idea.

Consequently I’m expecting it to pass. This is the same state that approved the “gateway” abstinence-only education bill, after all.

Don’t go changin’,

This is dF

==============================

EDITED TO ADD [Nov 6]:
It passed. So did three other amendments, two of which I wasn’t aware – one to prevent a state income tax, and one to allow veterans organizations to hold raffles and bingo events. I gather the latter two had enough support that no one thought they were worth blowing money on political ads. 

defrog: (sars)
I haven’t actually started on this series yet, but this is low hanging fruit, so I might as well get it out of the way.

I didn’t watch very much TV while I was in the states. But when I did, I got an earful about the Ebola. Even the front page of the Maryville newspaper had Ebola all over it.



People are terrified of the Ebola in America. And by “people” I mean “politicians and media pundits”. At street level I didn’t meet anyone who seemed overly concerned about it.

Still, you know, EBOLAPOCALYPSE.



Obviously there is a lot of debate about what to do about it. One idea is travel bans on people who have been in countries where the Ebola is happening.

I don’t have any wisdom, but I do have this post from Vox about why travel bans and airport screening are pretty useless as actual security measures go. And as someone who lived near Ground Zero of the SARS epidemic 11 years ago, I can tell you the article makes some good points.

So naturally govts are going to impose travel bans anyway. If the national freakout over Kaci Hickox is any indication, it’s probably going to happen in the US sooner or later.

Because FEAR.

Turn yr head and cough,

This is dF


ROAD TRIP

Oct. 6th, 2014 02:46 pm
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Back in three weeks.



[Via Steve Niles]

In absentia,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
It’s the Moon Festival in this part of the world.

I’m spending it in Mactan, as it happens. On business, sadly.


Anyway, here’s what the moon looks like over my hotel right now.



Meanwhile, here’s something appropriate for the holiday. More or less.



Liftoff,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
We went to Macau again this time last week, and happened across the historical Lou Lim Ieoc Garden. 

You can read about it here.

And you can look at it now.



  





  

It’s a very relaxing place. 

Parks and recreation,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
I have been to Singapore, where the trees look like this. 





Or at least they do in Gardens By The Bay

Anyway, yes. It’s been a busy month for me – a slew of relentless and inflexible deadlines backed up against a business trip to Singapore for yet another conference that kept me busy for most of the trip. Also, the Bride traveled with me this time out, which was great, but also ate up a lot time I would have otherwise spent online trying to entertain you people. 

And not that I mind entertaining you lot, but PRIORITIES.

I’m sure you understand.

Anyway, I am now back from Singapore, and I go straight back there next Tuesday (hence the headline of this post). So you can expect some random Singapore-related posts – most of them pictures of buildings and food – for the foreseeable future.

Lucky you.

Between stops,

This is dF


defrog: (onoes)
I am back from Singapore.

And of course the haze started tapering off right after I left.

At least for now. We hear it’s going to remain a problem for awhile.

And of course I land in Hong Kong to find there’s a typhoon brewing offshore.



Not that it amounted to anything. We ended up with some extra rain, and that’s about it.

Anyway, on Friday I had some free time, so I did what anyone would do when the city is choked by a great Death Cloud: I went bookstore hopping.

And took a few pictures of the haze.

SINGAPORE HAZE ORCHARD 01 photo 2013-06-21102626_zps0594c2db.jpg

SINGAPORE HAZE BUGIS photo 2013-06-21083313_zps77460149.jpg SINGAPORE HAZE ORCHARD 02 photo 2013-06-21102942_zps87397eaf.jpg

SINGAPORE HAZE ORCHARD 03 photo 2013-06-21114807_zps199a3fc8.jpg

SINGAPORE HAZE VIVO CITY photo 2013-06-21122329_zps9b707d41.jpg

Yr welcome.

*koff*

That last one there? That's the cable car/bridge to Sentosa Island. You should have a clear view of it all the way to the island, which isn't all that far away. 

So anyway it's good to be back to HK where the air is cleaner. 

Which is a sentence I never expected to type.

Breathe,

This is dF


defrog: (onoes)
When I posted about the haze on Monday, the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) index was around 100. 

Here’s where we are two days later.



Actually, that’s outdated. An hour later it hit 321.

Here’s what it looked like outside the Marina Bay Sands where I’ve been working this week.



Another thing I should clarify too: the fires in Sumatra that are the cause of all this are man-made. It’s the result of farmers and plantation owners in Sumatra burning crops to clear land in the dry season – which, incidentally, is not legal in Indonesia.

This has managed to spark an international row between Singapore and Indonesia. It goes like this:

Singapore: “Slash and burn is illegal in yr country so why aren’t you enforcing it?”

Indonesia: “Don’t blame us. Your companies do it too, and some of them own the plantations being burned, so don’t be so hypocritical.”

What fun!

I still have two more days before I go home.

Smoke if you got ‘em,

This is dF


defrog: (sars)
I am in Singapore. 

It be hazy, on account of the forest fires in Sumatra and the wind blowing all the smoke this way.

===================================================


===================================================

This happens fairly often, though it’s not always this thick. I remember years ago, it got particularly bad. I had to travel here for a few days, and the air was so full of smoke I’d get dizzy after walking outside for more than 10 minutes.

I am here for another four days.

As such, this is relevant to my interests.



Smoke in yr eyes,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
A pachinko parlor in Shinjuku. 



A music store and a staircase in Ginza.

 RANDOM GINZA 04 photo 2013-05-23124805_zps0c21aa7b.jpg

A shrine on a side street around the corner from my hotel.

SIDESTREET SHRINE 01 photo 2013-05-23135648_zpsd0282e23.jpg

SIDESTREET SHRINE 02 photo 2013-05-23135700_zps0d83ba3e.jpg

And a few more things you can see here if yr so inclined.

Not much else to report, except that music store there? I spent a lot of time in it. The same can be said for Tower Records, Kinokuniya and Yaesu Book Centre. Because, as you know, my idea of sightseeing is hitting all the bookstores and record stores in town. 

And so much for Tokyo. It was too short a stay, and I hope it’s not another eight years before I get to go back.

Sayonara,

This is dF


defrog: (Mocata)
I am back from Tokyo.

I was there for a conference. I got bored. So my note-taking got a little sidetracked.

Sample page:

Talk slowly please …

And now, the Eagles perform “Desperado”. Yes, again …

Rugby! Zippers! Amway! Data centers! Number Six! Augmented reality! Facial recognition cosmetics! Bon Jovi! Adele! LOTS of Adele!

How do I stay awake? Easy – I pretend the panel is actually Traci Lords, Catherine Bach, Judy Landers and Kitten Natividad. Yes, my questions get off-topic. Can’t be helped.

Sing with me! “Tetsuwan Atomu! Tetsuwan Atomu! Tetsuwan Atomu! Tetsuwan Atomu!”

Everyone gets a bento box! F*** YEAH BENTO!

Eliminate the buddy system! Every crumb for himself! It’s what Ayn Rand would have wanted.

When things start to fall apart, have an exit strategy. You don’t want to be here when the whole shithole goes up. Sterno!

I am not an investment banker. I am a tax collecter. That way people like me more.

Who turned off the AC? SABOTAGE! Where are the elevators? ELEVATOR CAMOUFLAGE!

Leave the receivers where they are. Turn them off – they’re as radioactive as an old joke.

Our building is so earthquake-proof you won’t even know there’s a natural disaster going on outside unless you look out the window.

Wet bulb! Dry bulb! Evaporator pad! Recirculative cooler! Blower!

Blower? I hardly know her. HEYOOOOOOOO!

DC consolidation – restructure Congress, White House and Supreme Court into a single building with three offices: one for each branch. Think of the savings! At least $138m a year! SMALL GOVT!

And so on.

Wake me when it’s over,

This is dF


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